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LibApps Directions for Staff

Making the most of Oakton Library's LibGuides & LibAnswers platforms

A LibGuides asset is a piece of content that can be reused across our guides. The asset types most commonly used by Oakton Library LibGuides authors are book, link, database, widget, and document.

Command bar
The orange command bar is visible in edit mode to logged in account holders. It stretches across the top of the screen and contains shortcuts for various key tasks as well as a blue "Spring To" button that lets you switch apps. What you see on the command bar depends on your own account status (regular, editor, admin) and the specific app you are using (LibApps, LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, etc.)

If you elect to copy rather than map to an original asset, box, page, or guide, changes made to the original will not affect the copy you created.

Dashboard: LibGuides 
When you log into LibGuides, you land on your personalized dashboard. Here you will find things like Springshare announcements, shortcuts to important tools, and admin alerts. You can return to the LibGuides dashboard by selecting the Home icon from the orange command bar.

Draft Mode
When placed in draft mode, a box is not visible to the public. This is especially important if you are still in the process of adding content to a box.

Edit mode
Edit mode is only visible to LibGuide owners (or, more broadly, LibApps account holders) when they are logged in. Think of "Edit mode" as the "behind the scenes" place where we make changes to our guides (new content, layout adjustments, name changes, and so on).

Friendly URL
A friendly URL is easier to read and remember than the clunky combination of letters and numbers found in default LibGuides URLs. For example,

  • Default URL for Accounting guide:
  • Friendly URL for Accounting guide:

Hidden page
When you change the visibility settings of a guide page to flag it as "hidden," that page will only be visible in "Edit mode." This is a handy option for new pages still under construction.

Link Checker
The Link Checker tool provides us with a report of broken or unreachable links in LibGuide database assets, link assets, and book assets (links to catalog records). Although it cannot check links in rich text boxes, it’s an important tool for maintaining up-to-date, effective, and credible LibGuides.

If an asset, box, page, or guide is being reused elsewhere on our LibGuides site, that means it is mapped. Unlike producing a new copy, mapping means that changes made to the original will show up wherever it is reused. "Get help from Oakton's Librarians!" is a good example of a mapped box that appears throughout our LibGuides site.

Profile Box
Each LibApps user account holder has their own profile box, which they can customize to display details like their name, profile image, and contact info. This not only lets our patrons know who created a page, but also how to get in touch with them. Pages can include multiple profile boxes, too, which might be useful -- albeit potentially crowded-looking -- if you are collaborating on a guide.

Publication status: Unpublished
Unpublished guides are visible only to logged-in users (also known as edit mode).

Publication status: Published
Published guides are visible to everyone via search and browse. We use this status for the guides made available to the Oakton Community and the public.

Publication status: Private
A Private guide is visible only to those users who already know its URL. It is not visible via search and browse.

Subject categories
We use the subject categories option to organize guides and databases by the topic, discipline, or subject area. These categories are set by designated admin-level users. Subjects are grouped under the "By Subject" tab of our Research Guides landing page (homepage). We can filter Guides and A-Z List widgets by one or more subjects to create a customized list of guides or databases.

Tags provide a way for us to organize guides by keywords. Since tags are used primarily to weight and filter search results, we can also create widgets that allow our users to view guides assigned to specific tags. Tags can be created by admin, regular, and editor account holders.

A widget is a JavaScript snippet that allows you to embed content in a website. On the Oakton Library LibGuides site, this is most commonly used for things like videos and search boxes.